'Women's Health 101' by Oladele Olusanya MD: The 7 essentials of women's health.
1. Every woman must have a family physician, not just an Ob/Gyne specialist.
2. Annual health exams are mandatory at every age, even for the uninsured.
3. Pap smears every 1-3 yrs from age 21 or after first sexual activity
4. Mammogram every 1-2 yrs from age 50.
5. Colon cancer screen from age 50 (colonoscopy every 10 years, or fecal occult blood test yearly).
6. Yearly check for obesity, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol & depression
7. Ask the physician to check and update your adult immunizations such as influenza, penumococcus & TdaP
Important health issues for women
- Depression & mood problems
- Cervical cancer
- Breast cancer
- Uterine fibroids
- Sexual problems
Things you must do before your annual woman's health exam
- Bring a list of all your current & previous medical problems & surgeries
- Prepare a list of all your current medications including over the counter meds and supplements
- Tell your physician about your problems or concerns
- At the end of the visit, get a clinical summary and copies of all your labs and other tests
- Get a written a plan from the physician for your future health maintenance (obesity, hypertension etc)
What you expect from Dr. Olusanya at your Annual health exam
- Height, weight & BMI (screen for obesity)
- BP & pulse (screen for hypertension & atrial fibrillation)
- Breast examination
- Pelvic examination
- Cancer screen (Mammogram, Pap smear or Colonoscopy as indicated)
- Labs & X-rays only if indicated (diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disease, high cholesterol or osteoporosis)
- Check & update your immunizations